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Krautrock • Germany

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Green Wave picture
Green Wave biography
Life may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not;
Truth be veilled, but still burneth;
Love repulsed - but it returneth!

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, English Romantic Poet, 1792-1822

" The last rock band before the border" is the maxim that has described this venerable German band since their inception in 1975 in the southwest area of Germany in Saarland on the German/French border where they began as a musical collective jamming, playing gigs and doing benefit concerts. The sparkplug and grandsire of this rock 'n' roll cause de célebre throughout it's 35 year existence has been vocalist/mouth harp player Rainer Wahlmann who co-founded the band with guitarist / vocalist Marc Fournelle. In the early 1970s Wahlmann played in a short lived and rather obscure Krautrock band called Dies Irae that nonetheless managed to stir up some controversy which led to it's downfall and the creation of Green Wave. Although there is a separate entry for Dies Irae on PA some of the events that occurred during Wahlmann's Dies Irae years are worth describing here because the early days of Green Wave were very similar to Dies Irae and without Dies Irae there almost certainly would not have been a Green Wave. In fact, at least one Dies Irae track, entitled Lucifer made it into their early repitiore as an encore song.

When the Krautrock movement was in it's infancy in the late 60s and early 70s and German rock bands were struggling to achieve their own identity many, such as Dies Irae signed slippery record and management deals. Dies Irae entered into a a management contract with a shady character who was a former guitar player in a sing along dance band who managed to procure a record contract with Pilz Records that resulted in their one and only LP " First" along with a single ( both are coveted collector's items) in addition to gigs all over Switzerland, France and Germany. Wahlmann was somewhat of a rock 'n' roll poet laureate with a rebelious streak in him and with a few exceptions German radio stations refused to play Dies Irae's music on account of Wahlmann's radical lyrics that preached drugs and peace rather than political and religious rightcheousness. Even the record company suddenly realized this and tore up their contract. Wahlmann quit in early 1972 and by by 1973 the rest of the band packed it in. Messy legalities with the former manager ensued and Wahlmann quit music altogether to become a teacher for children with spec...
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GREEN WAVE Videos (YouTube and more)

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GREEN WAVE discography

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GREEN WAVE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 4 ratings
The Inner Garden
3.78 | 9 ratings
We Used To Cut The Green Grass / The War Is Over
4.00 | 2 ratings
Stolen Dreams in a Nearby Lost & Found

GREEN WAVE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GREEN WAVE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Hope ( featurung Andrea Bettinger )

GREEN WAVE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GREEN WAVE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Inner Garden by GREEN WAVE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.04 | 4 ratings

The Inner Garden
Green Wave Krautrock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars At the fall of 1975 former Dies Irae vocalist Rainer Wahlmann decided to open a new chapter in his career, forming Green Wave with brothers Dedde Shafer (bass) and Hans-Gerd Shafer (drums), guitarists Marc Fournelle and Bernard Ayling and another drummer, Helmut Sheid.However only the Schafer brothers would remain consistenly next to him over the years, as , after some decent success through the second half of the 70's, Green Wave would disband in 1984 due to Wahlmann's hearing loss.The following year half of his hearing ability would recoverand a new era starts for the group, which however would suffer for almost year by year line-up shifts.In 1991 Green Wave would briefly perform the rock opera "We used to cut the green grass", but this project would be again abandoned due to the limited financial income.Finally the group would record a self-produced work in 2000, ''The inner garden'' with the original Wahlmann/Schafer brothers trio being supported by keyboardist Stephan Richter, freshly acquired guitarist Christoph Waltner and female singer Andrea Bettinger.

''The inner garden'' is actually a mixed bag of rock sounds, a long trip into the land of Rock Music over different times and fashions, blending Prog Rock with Hard Rock, Synth-Pop and Melodic Rock.The basic ingredients of Green Wave's updated face is a guitar-driven Heavy/Hard Rock with melodramatic vocals, coming out of the theatrical acts of the 70's, and some clever breaks into calmer or even atmospheric/cinematic passages.Hard to be accurately described, the music is quite accesible wih decent structures and sharp sounds, often doubled by soaring synthesizers.Wahlmann's voice still retains this harsh accent he had from his days with Dies Irae, while psychedelic bits from that era are still present in some of the album's moods.Harmonica, female vocals and diverse tempos make the listening fairly interesting and attractive, although the pair of Synth Pop-flavored tunes around the middle are rather dull and musically very weak.Towards the end the album starts to come closer to the legendary 70's Teutonic bands, like on ''Brighton Beach'', where the floating synthesizers have a strong ELOY sense around them, while the pair of ''The Kahini brothers''/''Hope'' tracks kicks off with a melancholic, theatrical vocal performance by Wahlmann, supported by piano, evolving into a great, low-tempo Symphonic/Space Rock piece with obvious GROBSCHNITT references, characterized by its edgy synthesizers, the FLOYD-ian guitar solos and Wahlmann's caustic voice.

Green Wave officially debuted 25 years afer their original formation and their debut is a nice jam of different sounds, producing echoes from the 70's, 80's and more recent fashions.Maybe it is a bit confusing, but in general ''The inner garden'' can please a lot of different rock masses, from fans of Hard Rock to even lovers of Teutonic Symphonic/Space Rock.And that is certainly an achievement.Warmly recommended.

 We Used To Cut The Green Grass / The War Is Over by GREEN WAVE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.78 | 9 ratings

We Used To Cut The Green Grass / The War Is Over
Green Wave Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

4 stars 21st Century Hippie Rock

The striking feature of this double disc from German psychedelic mushroom rock band Green Wave is the spectacular panaramic artwork by Marc Friese that adorns the cover. Simultaneosly real and sureal, it perfectly describes what the listener is about to share with the characters in this epic story as they endure conflict, love, confusion, isolation and separation with a certain togetherness in a dangerous time.

It would be best to begin with the one minor drawback of this unusual work. Unfortunately the complete story is not presented on the two discs which might cause some initial confusion. However, this is compensated for by the excellent descriptive liner notes provided ( in both German and English) that also guide the listener towards the Green Wave website where they can find all the lyrics to the three part story or trilogy as it is refered to by the band. The general concept is nonetheless maintained so the missing part of the story is just a minor detail. And if one just wants to enjoy an hour and a half of some wonderful music without worrying about the story then one will find an excellent selection of songs in the tradition of progressive rock of the seventies that can be considered individually that paint, seque and blend themselves into one another beautifully.

But for those interrested in both the story and the music this is where the treat lies on "...we used to cut the green grass... the war is over...." So without spoiling the story ( I'll leave that up to the band) it can be best summized as a post-apocalyptic tale. While most stories of this sort are of a science fiction nature this one centers around the spirit and emotions of human beings within a threatened and fragile environment. In other words, it could have really happened or could happen. The story centers around a toxic event that occurs over Great Britain. The main characters are exiled to the Spanish coast where they hope to find a better life and happiness.

While this immaculately engineered and self-produced album, doesn't reach virtuosic proportions, the musicians on the work are superp players none the less. It is a very orchestral album with lots of keyboards, but at times the fire and fury of heavy metal and punk surface. Solemn and sullen passages also reflect the moods and concepts of the individual songs so it is a very dynamic work that doesn't drag out on one musical tone.

While the writing is an all out group effort the lyrical concept is the brainchild of Rainer Wahlmann, the poet laureate of the group. During the early seventies Wahlmann was busy being a full blown hippie in a rather obscure German blues rock band called Dies Irae that released a singular album in 1971 entitled " First ",some of that attitude carries over to Green Wave in the 21st century .Wahlmann is 60 something and sounds no different than he did in 1971 when fronting Dies Irae. But for those who might be familiar with Dies Irae be forewarned : this is an entirely different band.

Being a German band ( who sing in English ), those who are familiar with some of the zany and bizarre effects employed by such bands from the early seventies Krautrock movement such as Guru Guru, Grobschnitt, Hoelderlin and others will be delighted just as I was to hear some of that here, Rockpommel's Land by Grobschnittcomes to mind. Sound devices are used very effectively within the contexts of the songs but not overblown. Recalling longer concept albums of the seventies ( Yes, Focus, Genesis etc.), I was very suprised to find a concept album of this length appearing in the year 2009! So this is another treat for those who relish those precious years.

Green Wave's opus "...we used to cut the green grass...the war is over" will definitely take a few listens to fully appreciate. But once you get it it will give you a great feeling. Maybe take it out on the iPod to the park on a sunny afternoon where there are children playing, dogs chasing sticks and people strolling and let your mind flow. That would be the perfect backdrop over which to enjoy this forward looking concept album that does not forget the terrible lessons of the past but above all gives hope in this ferocious world that can change without notice and that will never be the same regardless of how much we might long for it.

A very suprising jewel from a very little known band from Saarland, Germany..

 Hope ( featurung Andrea Bettinger ) by GREEN WAVE album cover DVD/Video, 2001
4.00 | 2 ratings

Hope ( featurung Andrea Bettinger )
Green Wave Krautrock

Review by Vibrationbaby

4 stars Krautrock afficiados might recall a wacked out video from a band named Dies Irae called " The Trip " that was filmed on a former SS parade ground for the Geman TV show Dieduetscherocknacht in the summer of 1971. The track was from a one off album called " First " on the PILZ record label that became somewhat of a cult recording . The singer was Rainer Wahlmann and in 1975 he formed a new band called Green Wave that became well known in and around their home base of Saarbrucken in south-west Germany. It wasn't until 1999 until they managed to record their first album The Inner Garden. The song Hope was the closing track and was made into this video acouple of years later.

The song / video also features the sultry .vocalls of another local talent blues/folk singer Andrea Bettinger who is known for her passionate deliveries of covers of Marc Coln's Walking In Memphis and Gary Moore's Still Got The Blues. She can be likened to inga Rumpf of Frumpy and Atlantis fame .In this ethereal video that bleeds with optimism and freedom with it's floydian guitar and sureal images Bettinger adds a very spectral karma both visually and vocally. She represents hope itself in a very metaphysical way as Wahlmahnn plays a character that believes in the abstraction that she portrays. The viewer will notice that the two never embrace and as the vignette is concluded she dissolves into a ray of bright light.

Not nearly as '' out there '' as the Trip video it shows a much more mature Wahlmann ( a modern hippie rather than a 70s hippie ) as well as demonstrating how a simple message can be put forth on a sheostring budget without any lavish effects.

Thanks to Ian Gledhill for the artist addition. and to Ian Gledhill for the last updates

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